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The Future Speaker

My good friend the Hon. John Perez (D-A46) emerged victorious from Democratic Caucus in the California State Assembly. 

Knocking out Hon. Kevin De Leon (D-A45), Perez may become the first openly gay speaker of the Assembly of the State of California.  This is a major milestone. As a Latino elected official, John never hid his sexual orientation. But it is only one part of his identity (as it is for all of us, gay or straight). Perez is a gifted and brilliant legislator and in a short amount of time (a year) in Sacramento has really learned the ropes.

John came to politics through his Labor Union background. In his brief time in office he has worked on numerous pieces of legislation including political reform, HIV/AIDS issues, Domestic Violence issues,  Medi-Cal transplant and organ donation anti-rejection meds, and numerous other issues on a wide range of topics. To learn more about legislation that John has carried click here.

Sometime after the first of the year, the Assembly as a whole will vote on John’s speakership.  He has the support of now speaker, Karen Bass.

This past spring, Assembly member Perez spoke at our congregation, Kol Ami.  He gave the most brilliant sermon of the year.  Not your typical political speech.  It was truly a sermon on the need to reform our state’s initiative process that mocks the legislative and constitutional processes in our state.

He spoke recently as the Keynote for our interfaith summit on hunger in Los Angeles County at the Jewish Federation and again made the links between hunger and the issues in our state budget.  John has a way of taking the most complex subjects and making sure we can understand them clearly and simply while still conveying their complexity.  This is an important skill in the Speaker of the Assembly in helping all Californians understand important legislation and important big ideas.

I am excited and thrilled at the prospect of his leadership for our entire state. And I look forward to working closely with him to create a better and more golden state.